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Russians Are Turning Their Backs on Vodka

An employee places a bottle of vodka on a counter during the agro-industrial exhibition 'Agrorus' in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters

By Niall McCarthy | 29 October 2018

STATISTA — Is the age-old Russian love affair with vodka on the rocks? In recent years, more and more Russians have ditched their national drink, preferring to sip craft beer and sample wine. Vodka remains a huge part of the country’s culture, something that has had deadly consequences for its male population. According to the most recent World Health Organization data (2010), 30 percent of all male adults engaged in heavy episodic drinking in the past month. Excessive alcoholism among men has resulted in an average life expectancy of just 64 years of age, far behind the rest of Europe.

The following infographic used more recent WHO data to show how the situation is changing. After the collapse of the USSR, vodka consumption peaked in 1995 with per capita consumption of pure alcohol of spirits amounting to nearly 9 liters. That year, per capita consumption of beer and wine amounted to just 1.54 and 0.81 liters of pure alcohol. Fast forward to 2016 and to a vastly different picture. […]

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